Degree Details and Courses
All students earn a Master of Arts (MA) in Cultural Heritage Management. The MA requires ten courses, three required, three core courses, and four electives, to be completed within five years of beginning the program.
We emphasize the transdisciplinarity of the field, and as a result, the curriculum allows each student to customize his or her studies to their unique career goals and trajectory. In addition to the 3 required courses, students choose 3 out of 5 potential core courses and 4 electives.
Our close relationship with the Museum Studies and Digital Curation programs, greatly expands the choice of course electives. Students work with an advisor to design a course of study that best suits their needs and interests.
Students must take a total of 10 courses:
- Studies in World Heritage
- Cultural Heritage Management/Leadership
- Three core courses
- Four elective courses
- One two-week onsite seminar
- Note: In order to register for the onsite seminar, students must have completed a minimum of two courses in the program, although four or more courses are encouraged. One of these courses must be 465.704, students are also strongly encouraged to take 465.707, and some seminars may have other specific requirements. Students are responsible for travel to and from the location, accommodations, and meals, as well as any specified field trip fees.
- Waiver Option: Students who are unable to travel to seminar locations, due to accommodation needs, financial hardship, or family challenges, may apply to the program director for an exemption to the two-week seminar. If a waiver is granted, the student must enroll in the internship option (465.780) to fulfill the onsite component of the degree requirement.
- Optional Internship (An internship or project at a student’s local heritage institution, approved by the Internship Coordinator, may be substituted for one elective course)
Select at least three of five. Once core course requirements are satisfied any additional core courses may count toward elective course requirements.
A Neolithic settlement in Scotland, at risk due to coastal erosion, is digitally preserved through precise 3D laser scanning; the construction of the massive towers at Cologne Cathedral is brought to life with digital photogrammetry and augmented reality; multilayered cultural heritage information, images, and damage assessments are catalogued in open source databases. These are just a few examples of how a growing number of scholars, researchers, and practitioners are using the latest technology as a means to document, visualize, interpret, and preserve cultural heritage worldwide.
This course will explore the ways in which cultural heritage professionals are implementing the latest digital technologies to enhance research, conservation, management and preservation of tangible and intangible heritage, as well as methods of education and engagement for visitors. Through lectures, readings, assignments, and social media, students will identify, analyze and debate the use of documentation, visualization and content creation technology currently being used in the cultural heritage engagement, studies and practice, as well as envision its use for the future.
Select four. Students may take up to two related courses in other Johns Hopkins University departments subject to the approval of the Program Director.
The supervised research course enables students to investigate a significant problem or issue in cultural heritage and to develop and demonstrate leadership, critical thinking, and communication skills. The research project is expected to result in a written deliverable that makes a contribution to the field of cultural heritage broadly defined. Coursework, assignments, and meetings with a faculty member will take place in an online course environment. This course is normally completed toward the end of the degree program.
Potential students for this course must complete the Turning Your Topic Into A Good Research Question Research Skills Module and submit a Research Proposal/ question form prior to registering. On this form, students will describe their topic and research question. Please reach out to your academic advisor in order to complete this step. The course instructor will review the proposals and determine project appropriateness and enrollment eligibility. Students will register for this course through the add/drop form.
This course is recommended for students seeking to satisfy 36 CFR 61 federal qualification standards. These are standards used by the National Park Service previously published in the Code of Federal Regulations. The jobs of History, Archaeology and Architectural History include the following minimal professional qualifications (respectively):
- Substantial contribution through research and publication to the body of scholarly knowledge in the field of history.
- Demonstrated ability to carry research to completion.
- Substantial contribution through research and publication to the body of scholarly knowledge in the field of American architectural history.
Students will evaluate the different values that heritage resources have in general and for specific stakeholder communities. Class sessions cover the historical, legal, and regulatory background of heritage management; heritage resource management private and public organizations at local, tribal, state, and federal levels; professional practice in various kinds of heritage resource management organizations; the values that heritage resources may hold; methods for assessing the condition of heritage resources; how conservation, development, stabilization, rehabilitation, restoration, and protection treatments are applied; how modern technology is used in managing heritage resources; the challenges for the long-term, sustainability of heritage resources management; the ways in which heritage resources are interpreted for public audiences; professional ethical guidelines in heritage management; and, likely developments impacting the management of heritage resources in the future.
In the course, students will develop a major individual written project that also can serve as a professional tool for each participant to use in advancing his or her career objectives.
Eligible Elective Courses from the Museum Studies Program
Every museum career offers opportunities for leadership. Whether you head an internal project, lead a team, department or an entire institution, you draw from the same attributes and skill sets as leaders everywhere. Understanding that skill set and developing individual leadership competence leads to a career hallmarked by intentionality.
This course introduces students to the nature and practice of leadership through the vocabulary of competencies. It focuses on personal leadership development, beginning with an assessment of a student’s leadership strengths and weaknesses while building awareness of challenges, best practices, and practical workplace applications. Through reading, discussion, interviewing current museum leaders, and reflective writing, students deepen their understanding of their personal leadership capacities, grasp the importance of self-awareness to leadership growth, and understand the range of competencies leaders must embrace to be successful in the rapidly evolving world of the 21st-century museum.
Prerequisite: Students must have completed ONE of the following courses to register for this course: Business of Museums (460.608); History and Philosophy (460.611); OR Museums and Community Engagement (460.615)
Eligible Elective Courses from the Environmental Science & Policy (ESP) Program
Heritage students must secure permission from the ESP Program Director before enrolling in ESP courses.